Turkington extends BTCC lead
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington extended his advantage in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship standings after a double podium and a fourth place finish at Knockhill, as his title rivals hit trouble on a dramatic day.
Ash Sutton, Andrew Jordan and Tom Chilton took a win apiece in torrential conditions.
Sutton’s promising looking race day somewhat unravelled after his victory – along with fellow championship contender Tom Ingram – when both were excluded from the race two result for a technical infringement, whilst wins for Jordan and Chilton have already confirmed 2018 as a record breaking BTCC season.
The 2017 BTCC campaign produced 13 different race winners, which was a new record high, but 2018 – which also marks the 60th anniversary of Britain’s biggest series – has set a new benchmark in the illustrious history of the much loved tin-top championship as Jordan and Chilton became the 13thand 14th victors of the season.
Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Sutton surged from eighth on the grid to grab a glorious win in race one. Pole-sitter Dan Cammish held the advantage off the line as the Honda Civic Type R showed good pace in the early running. The Team Parker Racing car of Stephen Jelley swapped positions with the manufacturer-backed BMW of Turkington no fewer than three times as both drivers endured slippery moments in the heavy rain. It was an exciting tussle that built towards an unfortunate crescendo, when the two cars touched and Jelley’s podium hopes ended in the gravel on lap 19. Sutton was already ahead at this point as he made light work of the BMWs ahead of him, before he scythed past then leader Cammish in the Halfords Yuasa Racing car. Cammish fell into the clutches of the Bavarian machines after that and had little defence, but he was able to get himself back on the podium after the Turkington/Jelley collision.
Treacherous conditions and a number of incidents eventually put paid to an exciting race two, which Sutton led on the road from start-to-finish. The reigning champion had to contend with two safety car periods as a number of drivers struggled on the slippery surface with heavy rain falling throughout. Ollie Jackson’s Audi was the first casualty as the mid-pack bunched up on the opening lap and then a further delay followed when Tom Oliphant’s Mercedes and Carl Boardley’s VW both slid off-track. The race was eventually red flagged after 20 laps when Sam Smelt’s AmD-run Audi A3 went straight on at the chicane and made heavy contact with the barrier. Smelt emerged completely unharmed but the decision was made to stop the race early. Sutton took the chequered flag ahead of Ingram and Jordan, but further drama followed during post-race scrutineering. The Subaru Levorg of Sutton and Toyota Avensis of Ingram failed ride height checks and were subsequently excluded from the result, handing victory to Jordan with Power Maxed TAG Racing’s Josh Cook and Cammish completing the podium. Chilton then became the 14th different race winner in 2018 so far – an all time record number with six races of the season still remaining.
The Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher driver won race three with relative ease, albeit withstanding late pressure from championship leader Turkington in the closing stages. It was the maiden victory of the season for the Motorbase stable and also Chilton’s first overall success since re-joining the series at the beginning of last year. Turkington was arguably the biggest winner in the final race as a second place finish extended his championship lead over Ingram and Sutton, who both produced good comeback drives to finish 16thand eighth respectively. BMW Pirtek Racing’s Jordan rounded off a brilliant Knockhill weekend with another podium, following on from his race two victory. The 2013 champion also proved to be the highest points scorer across the three races.
Turkington now holds a 43-point lead over Ingram with Sutton a further eight in arrears. BMW/Team BMW leads the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ standings, whilst Ingram/Speedworks Motorsport top both Independents’ Teams and Drivers tables. A double overall podium for Cammish also helped him extend his advantage in the Jack Sears Trophy.
The British Touring Car Championship returns at Silverstone in three weeks’ time (15/16 September) before the season finale takes place at Brands Hatch at the end of the month.
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 22 – Knockhill
1 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 27 laps
2 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +1.287s
3 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +2.779s
4 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +2.999s
5 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +3.433s
6 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +4.370s
7 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +6.606s
8 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +7.015s
9 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +7.778s
10 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +8.108s
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 23 – Knockhill
1 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +1.222s
2 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +1.835s
3 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +2.577s
4 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +3.077s
5 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +3.659s
6 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +4.305s
7 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +6.981s
8 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +7.653s
9 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing +8.239s
10 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +8.586s
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 24 – Knockhill
1 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher 27 laps
2 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.948s
3 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +6.332s
4 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +10.899s
5 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +11.112s
6 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +11.590s
7 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +12.075s
8 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +15.266s
9 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +16.153s
10 Dan LLOYD (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +16.446s